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The Vault

Slow Motion: Star Model B Super

Today’s high speed video analysis is the first Browning-style pistol that was at hand when I took out the camera: a Star Model B Super. Manufactured in Spain for many years, this basic pistol was made in both 9mm Luger and 9mm Largo variations as well as full-size and shortened varieties. This particular one is [...]

Bergmann 1894 Grip Style

I recently had the opportunity to examine a very early model 1894 Bergmann pistol, and made an interesting discovery (discovery to me, at any rate). The gun has a rather elegant bird’s-head grip, and a trigger that pulls as much down as it does back – the direction of the trigger pull is basically along [...]

Colt All-American 2000 (Video)

The All-American 2000 was Colt’s attempt to break into the polymer high-cap pistol market in the early 1990s, when Glock was dominating that field. Colt took what appears to have been a pretty good pistol designed by Eugene Stoner and Reed Knight and made some pretty terrible decisions when adapting it for mass production – [...]

Slow Motion: Fémáru 37M

The Frommer/Femaru 37M was the last in the line of handguns designed by Rudolf Frommer. The 37M was a single-action blowback pistol chambered for .380, although it was also purchased by Germany in .32 ACP caliber (and with the addition of a manual thumb safety). It was adopted by the Hungarian military in 1937, replacing [...]

Swanström 1882 Automatic Pistol

Today’s post was written by a Swedish reader named Arne Bergkvist, about a very early Swedish automatic pistol I had not been aware of. It is particularly interesting as one of relatively few examples of self-loading firearms designed before the advent of smokeless powder. It never went into serial production, but shows plenty of ingenuity [...]

M1942 Sosso Pistol

The Sosso was an interesting design produced experimentally by FNA Bescia in Italy in very small numbers during World War II. It was a short-recoil operated design chambered for 9x19mm, and featured a particularly unusual magazine design. Instead of using a convention spring and follow, the magazine contained what is best described as a belt-feed. [...]

Another Chinese Pistol

Here’s another example of the inter-war Chinese pistol trade – this one from Roger Papke of Handfuls Of History. It’s interesting to note that this pistol is virtually identical in design to the one recently sold at Rock Island, but has much different markings.

The construction of this piece matches in almost every detail [...]

Dreyse 1907 Slow Motion Video

The 1907 Dreyse is an early automatic pistol whose design is attributed to Louis Schmeisser. It saw fairly extensive use by the German military during World War I, and was also used by various German police organizations into the early 1930s. Overall, nearly a quarter million were manufactured.

It is a simple blowback action chambered [...]

Mauser C96 with Chinese Hand-Made Frame

After posting my video of the oddball Chinese pistol in the recent RIA auction, I received a number of emails from folks with similar sorts of guns. One was from a fellow named Leonardo, who ended up with an interesting Chinese creation courtesy of Fed Ord. About 20 years ago, they were selling really junky [...]

(e)Book Review: Handfuls of History

A dilemma that has always existed for book authors and publishers is that adding information makes a book physically larger, and more expensive to produce. Editors have always had to make decisions balancing the added benefit of additional material (especially photographs) against the extra costs associated with making a bigger book. Not a big deal [...]